Strategies that will HELP!

Many students with disabilities lack motivation. Lacking motivation often stems from low self-esteem or confidence level. As teachers and parents there is a lot that can be done to improve motivation. One needs to remember that these students are often mentally fragile and require a great deal of confidence boosting before the following techniques will work. The goal is often to help develop a "can do" attitude; one that sets the child up for success!

Try the following strategies:

* Always build on prior knowlegde; this means you really need to understand exactly where your student/child is academically.

* Be sure to praise and recognize ALL efforts and attempts at improving. Give lots of verbal and non-verbal reinforcements.

* Provide opportunities for peer mentoring, buddying, social skill development and cooperative learning whenever the situation presents itself.

* Use graphic organizers to assist the student.

* Give immediate feedback for on-task, task completion, solid efforts and demonstrated improvement at every opportunity.

* Encourage independence at every opportunity and provide positive feedback when the student is working well independently.

* ALWAYS focus on the student's abilities - NOT disabilities.

* Provide opportunities for the child to take risks in new learning situations.

* When the opportunity presents itself, be sure to give "happy notes". 

Remember, consistency in approach will help to change undesirable behaviors (lacking motivation). Your time and patience will pay off and slowly, but surely your efforts will be rewarded! Remain positive!